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LANCE OF ST. MAURICE

Classification: Magic item

Creator: Unrevealed

User/Possessors: Formerly Wolverine (Logan/James Howlett), Devos (Jimmy, Steven, others), Arnim Zola, elderly resident of Vliet, the Netherlands, United States military, Adolf Hitler

Aliases: Lancea et Clavus Domini, Spear of Destiny, the Holy Lance, the Lance of Longinus, the Spear of Longinus

First Appearance: (unidentified spear): The Life of Christ: The Easter Story (1993);
(The Spear of Destiny, identified): Wolverine: Evilution (September, 1994);
(Lance of St. Maurice): The Twelve: Spearhead (May, 2010)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: According to legend, whoever held the artifact controlled the fate of the world. The spear is capable of generating and firing energy blasts. Being a magic weapon, the Lance of St. Maurice could be used to disrupt or negate magic spells if used against a magical enemy.

History:

(The Life of Christ: The Easter Story) - A spear was used by a Roman Centurion during the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

(The Bible - BTS) - The Roman Centurion used the spear to pierce Jesus Christ's side.

(legend) - According to legend, whosoever held the spear controlled the fate of the world. Due to the legend, the spear was referred to as the Spear of Destiny. It was also referred to as the Lance of St. Maurice due to its supposed, one-time ownership by St. Maurice himself.

(The Twelve: Spearhead - BTS) - Over the centuries, the Lance of St. Maurice had several unrevealed owners. At some point during World War II, it came into the possession of Adolf Hitler, who was convinced the weapon would ensure the Third Reich's victory.

(The Twelve: Spearhead) - Learning Hitler had the Lance of St. Maurice and it was being kept in a German stronghold, the U.S. military assembled a team of superheroes to besiege the base. The team, led by Captain America, was comprised of Master Mind Excello, Blue Diamond, Human Torch, Miss America, Whizzer, Vision, Rockman, Dynamic Man and the Phantom Reporter. Using teamwork and a well laid out plan that gave every hero an essential task,the Nazis were overrun. Mastermind Excello and the Blue Diamond succeeded in finding and retrieving the Lance of St. Maurice. The Lance was handed over to the U.S. military.

(Invaders Now#3 (fb) - BTS) - The spear was lost through unrevealed circumstances in the closing days of the war. (see comments)

(Wolverine: Evilution (fb) - BTS) - The spear was placed in Germany's Historical Museum and Archive.

(Wolverine: Evilution) - Steven, a member of the anti-technology Devos teen group, stole the spear from the Historical Museum and Archive in Germany and brought it to the other members of Devos, where it was used as part of spell to summon the mystic entity Saviour in hopes of reversing time to bring mankind back to a pre-technology state. Wolverine, who had tracked his ally Boom-Boom to the Devos' location in Prescott, New York, ultimately used the spear to banish Saviour by stabbing the spear into the Saviour's chest. Dissolving in vapor, the Saviour promised that he would return.

(Wolverine: Evilution - BTS) - The spear was apparently lost once more following the battle against the Saviour. (see comments)

(Invaders Now#3 (fb) - BTS) - The spear was eventually located by an elderly Dutch man from the town of Vliet. Learning of the Spear's mystical properties, he hoped to use the artifact to revive his family and fellow townsfolk who were killed by the Invaders in January 1945 when he was just a child. The Invaders were forced to slaughter the inhabitants of Vliet after Arnim Zola's experiments turned them into highly infectious mutates. Growing up resenting the Invaders and now equipped with the Spear of Destiny the elderly man made a bargain with the elder god Shuma-Gorath to restore the town of Vliet to its former self in return for the Invaders' lives.

(Invaders Now#1 - BTS) - As soon as the deal was struck, Shuma-Gorath recreated the Vliet of old, returning the town to the way it was during the war, including its inhabitants, but also bringing back the Axis forces and Arnim Zola who once again prepared to mutate the townsfolk.

(Invaders Now#3) - Learning of the crisis in Vliet, which brought back painful memories, the Invaders reunited and made their way to the Netherlands. In the local church they discovered the old man with the Spear of Destiny. As Union Jack was contaminated and mutated, the spear's wielder explained his true motives and thirst for revenge, refusing to hear it was his own fault that the villagers had been mutated again due to his deal with the elder god. He struck Aarkus the Vision with an energy beam from the lance. After dealing with the Axis forces, the combined members of the Invaders approached the spear's wielder once more, offering their lives in return of the villagers. The Invaders reasoned that back in 1945, conventional medical science wouldn't have been able to counteract Zola's advanced genetic alterations, but now it might be possible to cure the victims and save Vliet.

(Invaders Now#4) - The spear's wielder offered the Invaders twenty-four hours to find a cure, or else he'd force them to sacrifice their lives after all. Combining their talents, the heroes succeeded in creating a cure for Zola's mutations. While the villagers were restored to normal, the spear's wielder used the lance's magic to open the portal to the afterlife as promised by Shuma-Gorath. Much to his surprise, the dead had no desire to leave the peace they found in the afterlife. This made the man finally realize the Invaders were not to blame and the death of his family and friends was really all Arnim Zola's fault. Determined to break his deal with Shuma-Gorath, he wanted to destroy the spear but was stopped by Arnim Zola who killed him with a shot in the back. Zola, now wielding the Lance, and the Axis attacked the Invaders just as Shuma-Gorath began entering a portal to Earth.

(Invaders Now#5) - As the Invaders fought the Axis' powers and Shuma-Gorath, the ghosts of the townsfolk, including the previous elderly spear wielder, returned to help the Vision fight the elder god. Figuring the spear to be the key to stop all the madness, Captain America managed to capture it and delivered it to Vision, who used it to stab Shuma-Gorath in the eye. This act broke the spell and returned the elder god to his home dimension, the spear still stuck in its eye.

Comments: Adapted into Marvel comics by Louise Simonson (writer), Mary Wilshire, Colleen Doran (pencils) and Bill Anderson (inks).

The Spear of Destiny has a rather limited recorded history in the Marvel Universe, but has been a staple in DC comics for quite some time. It was most famously used by DC's version of Adolf Hitler to throw up a magical field that canceled out superpowers, conveniently preventing Superman and the other members of the JSA to fly over to Europe and mop up the Third Reich in an afternoon. The artifact became so popular, it was one of the 12 items of power the Grandmaster had the JLA and the Avengers fight over back in 2004's JLA/Avengers crossover.

Not a particularly impressive spear, is it? Apparently, only the shaft survived into modern times. -Snood

It is uncertain whether the Spear used by Thanatos of Earth-9309 was this same Spear or an alternate reality version. - Snood.
    Until shown otherwise, I chose to treat Thanatos' Spear of Destiny as an alternate Earth counterpart of the Spear for the sake of this profile. -Proto-Man

John McDonagh asked Roy Thomas: "What was that sceptre that Hitler and Thor passed by in Invaders I#32? Was it supposed to be the Spear of Destiny somehow? The narration indicated that something was important, but we did not find out what...but Roy didn't recall this minor point from over 30 years ago, so the world may never know! - Snood

The Lance of St. Maurice/Spear of Destiny has looked different in its various appearances. While it is a magic item, it is not known to have any shape-changing abilities so it seems we will have to chalk its different looks up to artistic license. Also, in Invaders Now!#3, the elderly Dutch man comments that the spear disappeared during the closing days of the war. He apparently either didn't know that it was placed in the German Historical Museum & Archive or the spear might have indeed been lost then eventually found, placed in the German museum, then lost again following Wolverine's battle with Saviour, where it was subsequently found by the Dutch man. Another thing of note: a Roman Centurion is seen holding the spear in the Life of Christ: The Easter Story comic. However, it is never shown on-panel being used to pierce Jesus Christ's side as the Bible states. - Proto-Man

Profile by Marvellous Luke (with additional info provided by Snood and Proto-Man).

CLARIFICATIONS:
Lance of St. Maurice has some connections to


images: (without ads)
The Twelve: Spearhead, p31, pan4 (main image)
The Life of Christ: The Easter Story, p21, pan5 (Roman Centurion holding the original spear)
The Twelve: Spearhead, p31, pan3 (found by Mastermind Excello)
Wolverine: Evilution, p13, pan4 (Spear of Destiny, as it appeared within the German Historical Museum & Archive)
Invaders Now#5, p15, pan2 (used to stab shuma-gorath)


Appearances:
The Life of Christ: The Easter Story (1993) - Louise Simonson (writer), Mary Wilshire, Colleen Doran (pencils), Bill Anderson (inks), Glenn Herdling (editor)
Wolverine: Evilution (September, 1994) - Ann Nocenti (writer), Mark Texeira (layouts), John Royle (pencils), Philip Moy, Andrew Pepoy (inks), Suzanne Gaffney (editor)
The Twelve: Spearhead (May, 2010) - Chris Weston (writer, pencils, inks), Gary Erskine (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Invaders Now#3 (January, 2011) - Christos N. Gage, Alex Ross (writers), Caio Reis (pencils, inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Invaders Now#4 (February, 2011) - Christos N. Gage, Alex Ross (writers), Caio Reis (pencils, inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Invaders Now#5 (April, 2011) - Christos N. Gage, Alex Ross (writers), Caio Reis (pencils, inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)


Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 08/02/14

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